Friday, 13 August 2010

Lost in translation

Inspired by Vanessa's wonderful Greek Wordle, I decided to run my blog through Google Translate. (Apologies to the non-Irish speakers out there!)

The result was hilarious, including attempts at direct translation

"so here you go" = "agus mar sin théann tú anseo" = "and so you go here"

...and some incomprehensible attempts at sentences:

"Off I went to see if I could find a clear and simple explanation of how to do this using free software and do you think I could find any?"
=
"Off Chuaigh mé a fheiceáil má raibh mé in ann a fháil míniú soiléir agus simplí ar conas é seo a dhéanamh ag baint úsáide as bogearraí saor in aisce agus is dóigh leat raibh mé in ann teacht ar bith?
=
WHAT???**

Some surprisingly nice-sounding phrases too though, it has to be said:

"As my faithful readers know" = "Mar is eol do mo léitheoirí dílse")


This reminded me of a wonderful email my husband received last month to his old (Irish) university account:

Tá Bunachar Sonraí Cothabháil Ríomhaire atá ar siúl faoi láthair ar ár Ríomhphost gréasáin Message Center. Ár Teachtaireacht Center is gá a ath-shocrú mar gheall ar an méid ard de phoist a fhaighimid spam laethúil. Beidh Cothabháil a leagan síos agus cabhrú linn cosc a chur ar an aincheist seo go laethúil. Hanover nua ríomhphost Gréasáin Software a sholáthar pop - uaire le bloc de roinnt focal teoranta ó thaobh spam,.

*Chun revalidate do bhosca ríomhphoist do thoil:
Cliceáil anseo: [LINK DELETED]

Is é an Bogearraí Hanover Ríomhphost Gréasáin go tapa agus cur i  bhfeidhm meáchan éadrom go tapa agus go héasca le rochtain do r-phost. Má theipeann ar revalidate do bhosca ríomhphoist a bheidh do r-phost a fhágáil i-ghníomhach ó ár mbunachar sonraí.

Go raibh maith agat
Riarthóir Córas


Now it was far too much work to figure out what this was meant to be about so I stuck it through Google Translate and got the following:

Computer Database Maintenance is currently underway in our Webmail Message Center. Our Communication Center is required re-arrangement because of the high volume of spam mail we receive daily. Maintenance will be laid down and help prevent on this dilemma daily. Hanover new Web mail Provide Software pop - off several blocks of limited word spam terms.

To revalidate your email box please:
Click here: [LINK DELETED]

The Hanover Email Software Web quickly into light weight application to quickly and easily access your email. Failure to revalidate your mailbox to be your e-mail left in-active from our database.

Thanks
System Administrator

A remarkably comprehensible translation, don't you think?  Some spammer out there has gone to a huge amount of effort to translate their messages for the benefit of their Irish targets.  I wonder if I keep translating into Irish and back again would it end up saying what it was originally supposed to say?

I've removed the links because, while I don't know where they led, I don't want to be responsible for forwarding them to others.  Just in case.


*P.S. I particularly love the sentences where English words were left in alongside the Irish translation attempt:
Chun revalidate do bhosca ríomhphoist do thoil...


**P.P.S. Oh, ok, so the translation isn't all that bad, considering it was done by a computer!

8 comments:

  1. Sadly I don't speak Irish (I would love to learn at least the pronunciation rules, though), but I do speak some German, enough to know that the following three offerings don't really equate.

    "Wikis was too good a topic not to engage in some gratuitous TeachMeet publicity. Sorry everyone"

    "Wikis war zu gut, ein Thema nicht auf die Öffentlichkeitsarbeit betreiben in einigen grundlose TeachMeet. Sorry everyone"

    "Wikis was too good a topic not operate to the public in some gratuitous TeachMeet. Sorry everyone"

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  2. Brilliant! I can help with the Irish pronunciations, they make perfect sense, I swear! You just have to forget English-speaking preconceptions and remember that it's a totally different language.

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  3. I'm sure they do make sense, it's just, as you say, there's no way of working them out from an English language basis. I can do Polish (pronunciations), so unlikely combinations of letters present little fear!

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  4. And Irish makes far more sense than Polish does - just kidding. If anyone else is interested in learning Irish, speak now!

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  5. Ar fheabhas! Bhain mé an-taitneamh as an bpost seo a léamh. Teastaíonn uaim mo bhlog féin a aistriú go Gaeilge anois!

    Nach mbeadh sé go deas dá mbeadh níos mó bloggers ag scríobh as Gaeilge?

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  6. Beadh, cinnte! Beadh orm i bhfad níos mó oibre a dhéanamh ar mo chuid gramadaí roimh iarracht a dhéanamh blag a scríobh trí mean gaeilge, áfach! Céard fút?

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  7. Bheadh sé mar an gcéanna domsa. Ceapaim go bhfuil an teanga ag imeacht uaim anois nach mbíonn sí in úsáid agam. Ach b'fhéidir gurb é blogging (blogeáil?!) an bheallach is fearr dúinn chun í a choinneáil. Cad a cheapann tú?

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  8. B'fhéidir! Tá ranganna gaeilge ag tosnú san ollscoil an seachtain seo chugainn, rachfaidh mé ansin ar dtús. Dhéanfainn iarracht do bhlag a léamh dá scríobhfá as gaeilge! Céard a cheapann tú?

    ReplyDelete